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Old 09-08-2009, 12:44 AM   #1
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Front axle will not engage- not the same ole post

Hey there- am new to the forum- just joined as I have a major repair appointment at 4wheeldrive in the morning- need some quick advice... Am not so new to Jeeps- I counted and I believe this is #9 or 10.

It's a 92 YJ. Front axle will not engage- UNLESS the axle is jacked up (no pressure on tires)--- which brings me to my next point- both tires are angled slightly inward at the top.

I just obtained this YJ (4 FREE) a few weeks ago- tires were tilted when obtained and before all my upgrades.....

So, no engage under pressure, tires tilted. Vaccuum acuator works fine- it has vaccuum and suction... but here's where it gets interesting--- the little coupler/slider/round thing that goes from the outter axle piece over inward when actuated.... well, it wont go.... unless no pressure on tires- then it will barely sqeak over to the inside and engage both axle pieces. I noticed a slight lack of a straight line between those two axles/pieces (inner shaft and shorter outer) they are not lined up perfectly straight... I suspect this is why my wheels tilt and what's binding to keep the front from engaging....

Question?
Axle shafts or housing or bearings/races/etc? There is no wheel movement when wiggled by hand, but I do hear/feel some clunkage from the front off-road over bumps- as if something is loose.....

But suspension/steering is not loose. U-joints 'look' fine.....

It's headed in tomorrow morning for gearing--- more input needed here- 456 or 488--- i'm running a 2.5L on 33s with new Rubicon Expresss HD 4.5" lift.... for future I can obtain a 6 cyl and when this 2.5 goes south i will upgrade but dont want to get stuck with wrong gearing then. I'm sure the 488 will do me some well needed good now, but will it be too much later with 6 cyl? Or should i even care at this point?!?!?

Anyhow, sorry for the long post, but am really hoping to have a grip on ideas about this front axle problem before they dig in on gearing tomorrow and surprise me with needing NEW EVERYTHING. My gear job tomorrow should include all gearing, bearings, etc--- they say they'll look at shafts and housing. I cannot find a local housing Dana 30-unbelievable I know. Suggestions greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-08-2009, 09:31 AM   #2
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i would look at balljoints first. if they're that far gone (that you have a noticeable camber), i could see how itd keep the CAD from engaging. if not, then id say a bent housing.

I have a 2.5 with 4.88s and love it with my 33s, im not a daily driver though.

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Old 09-08-2009, 09:46 AM   #3
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um yeah check ball joint but the only other thing in that area that can go wrong would be the hub assembly but i don't know if that would cause this
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:16 PM   #4
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Hey thanks morphious- i am leaning toward agreement with you on ball joints- just dropped jeep off for gearing and they were able to give me a pretty good deal on doing all 4 ball joints while they're in there- thanks for input- btw i went with the 488s.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:19 PM   #5
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yeah i hate putting ball joints in for some reason they are like kryptonite to me i can do a lot of things for only being 21 but those just never go right for me
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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hope it wasn't jumped and the housing is bent.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:46 AM   #7
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Sadly enough you are CORRECT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdocdave View Post
hope it wasn't jumped and the housing is bent.
Dang- I was hoping for ball joint, or ANYthing other than axle housing- but I got the call and they say the axle was bent 3 degrees off- needed new housing- they checked around and could find me one- an empty housing for a whopping $360- I almost fell outta my chair! And this $360 axle housing was RED!!!!

So I went into emergency mode and tracked down my bosses carcus of an '89 3:73 Dana 35 and surgically removed the front axle in 20 minutes and then delivered the whole mess back to 4WheelDrive---- it's still there and should be ready in the Friday morning.

I chose the 4:88 gearing and I know everyone has their opinions but previous sucess swayed me to have the lock-rites installed front and rear. While they're in there all bearings, races, and ball joints are being replaced.

Thank you for your input- tomorrow should be a nice day to test out the new upgrades.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:12 AM   #8
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that sucks, at least it sounds like you got around it ok.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:31 AM   #9
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Just wondering what the lock-rites were?

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